New Delhi: Former England captain David Gower called the behaviour of some of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) members at Lord’s during day five of the second Ashes Test as “just wrong” and “horribly ironic”, especially towards Australia’s left-handed opener Usman Khawaja.
During lunch break on day five’s play at Lord’s, MCC members heckled, jeered, and booed the Australian team as they entered long room after Alex Carey had stumped Jonny Bairstow when the batter wandered out of his crease.
Some of the MCC members directed verbal abuses towards Australian players, particularly Khawaja, who later called the behaviour “disrespectful”.
As a result, the MCC suspended three members for their actions towards the visitors at Lord’s.
“I found it horribly ironic, and horrible is the keyword, that MCC members were attacking Usman Khawaja who is actually the nicest man in cricket. It’s just wrong. I was in Australia for the last Ashes series and I watched him make hundreds there and watched him make his hundreds here as well.”
“First of all, it’s picking on the wrong man. It’s a sort of pack mentality which I don’t like, I absolutely hate. You cannot have people or a club – because that of course is what the MCC is, it’s a private club – which happens to have a high status in world cricket and the history that puts it up there.”
“That’s why the management of the club are going to take strong action against those that have damaged its reputation. All being, that will die down as well and they will understand that their behaviour is as important as anyone else’s,” said Gower on SEN Radio.
Gower also expressed that he was pained to see England captain Ben Stokes’ remarkable 155 being pushed into the background by the media aftermath post Bairstow dismissal. Stokes made a stunning 155 off 214 balls with nine fours and nine sixes in second innings as England fell short of winning the match by 43 runs.
“What really does annoy me is Ben Stokes’ brilliant batting, which was just an awesome thing to watch, has sunk into the background. That was one of the great innings. It didn’t quite get England there and the margin at the end was comfortable.”
“But it was one of the great innings played with a febrile atmosphere and in terms of the theatre of Test cricket it was just brilliant. The cricket we’ve seen in these two Test matches has ebbed and flowed. Not all of it has been completely edifying, but we’ve seen cricket that people want to watch,” he added.
Australia are currently leading five-game Ashes 2-0, with the third Test to begin at Headingley from Thursday.